Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Anchor' that keeps proteins together discovered

Date:
September 4, 2014
Source:
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum
Summary:
All organisms react to different external and internal stimuli: if, for example, the hyphae fungus Sordaria macrospora is supplied with food, it produces fruiting bodies as part of its oestrous cycle. To initiate this reaction, signals have to be transmitted within the cell, which are conveyed by proteins. Physical proximity is a fundamental requirement, and generating that proximity is what scaffolding proteins do. Biologists have now discovered a new scaffold protein in hyphae fungi.

Just like in humans, in fungi, too, fusions between cells are crucial for their development. In the hyphae fungus Sordaria macrospora such fusions (arrow) are required for the production of fruiting bodies during sexual development. The scaffold protein PRO40 is essential for these processes.
Credit: Image courtesy of Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum

All organisms react to different external and internal stimuli: if, for example, the hyphae fungus Sordaria macrospora is supplied with food, it produces fruiting bodies as part of its oestrous cycle. To initiate this reaction, signals have to be transmitted within the cell, which are conveyed by proteins. Physical proximity is a fundamental requirement for different proteins to be able to communicate with each other. Generating that proximity is what scaffolding proteins do, by binding like an anchor to several proteins and keeping them together for the duration of signal transmission. Under the auspices of Dr Ines Teichert, RUB biologists have discovered a new scaffold protein in hyphae fungi. PRO40 is particularly important for the production of fruiting bodies.

Related Articles


The researchers report their findings in PLoS Genetics.

Understanding the process is important for fighting diseases

The most important signal pathways of all eukaryotic organisms -- that includes humans -- are, among others, the so-called MAP kinase modules. By linking phosphate groups, those modules, which are made up of several kinases, cause other proteins to alter their activity. How exactly a small number of MAP kinase modules (in fungi it's mostly three modules) elicit the correct responses to different stimuli, has not, as yet, been fully understood. "And yet understanding this process is important for fighting diseases which are caused by altered signal transmissions, e.g. Alzheimer's and cancer," explains Ines Teichert.

Scaffold proteins make interactions possible

To research into these principles, scientists use organisms with simple life cycles, such as fungi. By using so-called scaffold proteins, detecting the mechanisms underlying signal transmission becomes possible. Like an anchor, they bind different kinases of MAP kinase modules, thus bringing them in close physical proximity with each other. Only then, reactions can take place between them and a signal can be transmitted. Due to scaffold proteins being very dissimilar from each other, they are difficult to find.

No PRO40, no oestrous cycle

Dr Ines Teichert (Department of General and Molecular Botany) and her collaboration partners from the work group for Analytical Chemistry (Dr Dirk Wolters) suspect the protein PRO40 to be a scaffold protein. It has been shown that genetically modified fungi that did not produce PRO40 did not produce any fruiting bodies, either. Examining the proteins, the researchers proved that PRO40 binds two kinases of the MAP kinase module plus an additional kinase that switches on the module. Moreover, PRO40 directly affects the activity of the MAP kinase. "Thus, we were the first ones to demonstrate that PRO40 is a scaffold protein that is specific for sexual development processes in hyphae fungi," explains Dr Teichert. Scientists know about corresponding substances in other fungi which are responsible for phyto pathogenicity in fungi, i.e. the infestation of plants, or for fungus-plant symbioses. PRO40's function as a scaffold protein provides, for the first time, a function model on the molecular level.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ines Teichert, Eva Katharina Steffens, Nicole Schnaί, Benjamin Frδnzel, Christoph Krisp, Dirk A. Wolters & Ulrich Kόck. PRO40 is a scaffold protein of the cell wall integrity pathway, linking the MAP kinase module to the upstream activator protein kinase C. PLoS Genetics, September 2014

Cite This Page:

Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. "'Anchor' that keeps proteins together discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904084510.htm>.
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. (2014, September 4). 'Anchor' that keeps proteins together discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904084510.htm
Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum. "'Anchor' that keeps proteins together discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904084510.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Buzz60 (Oct. 31, 2014) — For its nature series Life Story, the BBC profiled the barnacle goose, whose chicks must make a daredevil 400-foot cliff dive from their nests to find food. Jen Markham has the astonishing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) — The import of salamanders around the globe is thought to be contributing to the spread of a deadly fungus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) — A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) — Focus on treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia means that treatment for malaria, itself a killer, is hard to come by. MSF are now undertaking the mass distribution of antimalarials in Monrovia. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins